When Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed received the Nobel Peace Prize in 2019, he was lauded as a regional peacemaker. A year later, he launched a conflict that spiraled into a brutal civil war, spawning one of the worst humanitarian crises in the world.
In November 2020, Abiy ordered a military offensive in Ethiopia’s northern Tigray region and promised that the clash would be resolved quickly. Two years on, the fighting has left thousands dead, displaced more than 2 million people and given rise to a wave of atrocities, including massacres, sexual violence and the use of starvation as a weapon of war.
Ethiopia was struggling with significant economic, ethnic and political challenges long before a feud between Abiy and the region’s former ruling party, the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), bubbled over into unrest and threatened to pull Africa’s second-most populous country apart.
Now, after years of grinding conflict, the Ethiopian government and the leadership of the TPLF have agreed to cease hostilities and pull the country back from the brink. But the surprise truce leaves many questions unanswered, with few details on how it will be implemented and monitored.
Here’s a closer look at what’s happening in Ethiopia.